“You! You are so lucky you’re dead.”
Harper Blaine, Greywalker by Kat Richardson
Greywalker by Kat Richardson opens with Harper Blaine, a private-investigator in a small town, being beaten by one of her clients. The beating Harper receives is so bad that she dies for two minutes before paramedics bring her back to life. When Harper comes to she is different. She now sees dead people, who live in a parallel World called the Grey. Harper can see the ghosts of dead people when they emerge into our World from the Grey, and she can enter the Grey (hence her title of Greywalker). The problem is there aren’t just the ghosts of dead people in the Grey. There are also creatures that want to hurt her. Harper is pulled head first into the supernatural world (including ghosts, vampires, witches and necromancers) while trying to fight against her ability to enter the Grey.
I thought Greywalker was okay. My main issue with the book was Harper’s reaction to becoming a Greywalker. I understood when she resisted and complained at first, and that made her seem human. Although she can now interact with the Grey, she is not stronger or faster than the average person and so is unprepared and unable to defend herself from the creatures in the Grey. My problem was that this never changed throughout the whole book. Harper never embraced her gift and just moped and moaned. The constant focus on how she hated her new found gift, and how much it tires her out etc… slowed the pace of the book. I know that Greywalker is a series and that Harper may well accept her new ability in subsequent books, but I don’t know whether I will continue reading the series after the amount of complaining. I wanted to grab hold of Harper and shake her and say, “Get on with it.” Her witch friend was so supportive, and yet Harper never let her help her properly. It just ended up with the witch repeatedly soothing Harper. Sigh. I was hoping for a stronger female character, like in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series or in The Harper Connelly Mysteries. Both of these books have a kind of detective role, and a mystery to solve, just like Greywalker, but they are much better female lead protagonists.
The detective mysteries were interesting. Harper is trying to solve two cases at once. She is trying to locate a missing person (who happens to now be a Vampire), and an old family heirloom (the client turns out to be very dangerous). These cases are filled with the supernatural, and Harper finds herself not only communicating with ghosts and witches, but also Vampires. The Vampires in this book intrigued me. Vampires exist in both the real World and the Grey simultaneously. They are also traditional Vampires in that they drink human blood, can’t go out in the sunlight, have no reflection in reflective surfaces and have to sleep on the dirt from their graves. One of the Vampires is also necromancer. This element of the story is interesting, and I am now interested to read other books with a stronger necromancer theme.
Overall, the book was just lacking in action. I didn’t feel as though I was racing to find out what happened, and I wouldn’t have minded if I hadn’t finished the book. I don’t know whether I will continue reading the series. I am interested to understand the Grey at little more because the descriptions in Greywalker don’t give a very clear picture, despite being detailed. I am also intrigued to know what Harper could do in the Grey. I am leaning towards trying book two, but I think if that isn’t significantly better, I will definitely give up altogether.
Final Verdict: It’s not a showstopper. If you don’t have anything else to read, then give this a whirl.